21 September 2019

Interaction-Moses Ebenezer Eddy, VP, KCEI

Development of the mining industry will add to the positivity of the industry



Kobelco Construction Equipment India Private Limited (KCEI) is credited for introducing high quality excavators and related construction equipment to the Indian market. The focus has always been to deliver a reliable and highly productive machine. Moses Ebenezer Eddy, VP, KCEI, in an exclusive interview to CONSTRUCTION OPPORTUNITIES shares about the performance of the construction equipment market in India, the company’s offerings,  the cutting edge technology, after-market services and the future outlook.





Industry analysts anticipate that the Indian construction equipment market is expected to cross USD 5.3 Billion till 2023-24. What are the cost/quality equations, sector challenges, and growth prospects?


It’s very true that the Indian Construction equipment industry has been having a tremendous potential for growth considering the huge infrastructure deficit that exists across the country. Execution has been a serious challenge for several reasons though the present Govt. has tried to address most of the issues and have increased the pace of work. The last 3-4 years have been relatively good years for the industry but there are always doubts about hitting a bump which could disrupt the growth trend. The general election later this year is one major factor which could impact the industry.



The cost/quality equation is still a vital factor in influencing market shares, with cost enjoying a clear edge so far. Value perception about benefits from technological developments has been improving, albeit slowly, and Customers are giving more weightage to factors like fuel efficiency, productivity, reliability, and the quality of on-site support.



The industry is still facing challenges due to various execution-related bottlenecks which do not give a clear vision of growth over the medium term at least. For a proper growth, the industry expects sustained growth without the present uncertainties. A large number of Projects are faced with huge cost-overruns due to delays on account of various issues in the past. This will also impact the industry growth.




Detail us on the range of construction equipment offered by your company, in terms of types, capacities, and applications. 


Kobelco is a leading global manufacturer of Hydraulic Excavators ranging from 1 Ton to 80 Tons. However, in India, we manufacture four models ranging from the 14 Ton SK140HDLC to the latest Generation-10 SK520XDLC in the 50 Ton segment. The range also includes the popular 22 Ton SK220XDLC-10 and the 38 Ton SK380XDLC-10. In addition, fully imported versions of few models like the 3.5 Ton SK35 SR Mini Excavator as well as the 80 Ton Mining Excavator SK850LC are offered in India. In addition, we offer various attachments like the Okada range of Rock Breakers, Long Reach attachment, Clamshell Buckets, Demolition attachment, etc.




Are you planning to launch any new products or variants to your existing product portfolio?


The Mini Excavator is due for a formal launch this year.  Presently, it is being test marketed in various locations and applications across India.




Detail us about the cutting edge technology used in your machines. Detail us on the Safety features and operator comfort in your machines. What are the USP’s of your products Vis-à-vis competition 


Kobelco excavators are known for their exemplary fuel savings and low carbon footprint. Also, the current Generation-10 models have been introduced with some key features like increased durability, further fuel savings, higher productivity, enhanced comfort and convenience for the Operator, etc.




Detail us on your after-market services as a strategic differentiator.


Kobelco has always maintained a very strong focus on the quality of after-market support, even at remote locations. Extra care is taken to ensure the availability of trained manpower and repair parts for achieving maximum machine uptime. The customer can achieve the best Return-on-Investment.




What are the trends driving purchase or hire of construction equipment in India? To what extent is consumer behavior influenced by cost?


Hiring or even leasing, as an alternative to ownership, has been gaining acceptance, primarily to address Balance sheet concerns, so that they are in a better position to borrow for their more essential capex needs. Also, some bigger players tend to outsource the work, at least partially, or even hire equipment to avoid the burden of additional manpower and to control the total cost.




Tell us about the indigenization efforts undertaken by the company to meet the market requirements? What is the company’s approach to implementing the ‘Make in India’ drive?


Our indigenization is an ongoing effort for obvious reasons. However, there are certain constraints due to weak Vendor base for critical items. The size of the Indian CE industry and the variation in technological levels do not permit the required economies of scale for competitive pricing. We were committed to the Make-in-India even before the current initiative was launched. We had started our manufacturing plant with a single model but now manufacture four models.




What are the steps taken by your company in terms of skill development to derive optimized results for end user?


Kobelco is an active member of IESC, the skill development council for the CE industry, and conducts regular training for Mechanics as well as customer Operators, who are certified thereafter. This activity is likely to be scaled up in the future to cover larger numbers. Kobelco has two Training Centres, at Chennai and Noida, approved by IESC.




Future outlook for the industry and from a company perspective


The overall outlook for the industry is definitely positive. However, some issues do need to be fully resolved to ensure sustained growth. Development of the mining industry will add further fillip to the growth of the industry.

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